Official GPSG Response to the Iowa Board of Regents Supplemental Tuition Increase Decision

In response to the proposed supplemental increase of $300 for resident students and $400 for non-resident students, on top of already approved base tuition increases, GPSG and UISG jointly proposed a compromised supplemental tuition increase of $200 for all University of Iowa students. This compromised increase provided the institution with additional revenue needed to maintain and increase quality across the UI without overburdening our already overburdened students and their families. As I said during the June Board of Regents meeting, “although we are talking about arguably reasonable numbers today, these translate into large numbers and long-term impacts on our student’s futures.”

We are extremely disappointed by the Board’s decision this week to pass the original proposal, except for an extremely modest $50 decrease for resident undergraduate students. In total, graduate students’ tuition will increase by $460/$886 for resident/non-resident students while professional students will face increases ranging from $674/$1,094 to $1,066/$1,666 for resident/non-resident students.

Although the Board perceived their efforts as helping Iowa students and families, their self-congratulatory tone failed to acknowledge other student populations at Iowa. This small decrease for resident undergraduates does little to improve the financial security of the majority of UI students, and more importantly, highlights the same politically-motivated decision making the Board has embraced over the last several years; to them, the only students that matter are resident-undergraduate students.

UI has one of the largest nonresident to resident tuition ratios as compared to our peer group, and this new increase will further broaden that gap. Tuition for residents is supposed to be lower– these families pay taxes into the education system and should reap the benefits. However, if the Iowa legislature is failing to properly invest that tax money into the higher education system, this failure should not be put on the backs on non-resident and graduate and professional students.

This strategy is short-sighted, narrow-minded, and clearly illustrates the Board’s inability to understand what really makes a world class university.  GPSG strongly believes that this can only be accomplished by ensuring accessibility, promoting diversity and inclusion (including embracing non-Iowan and international students), and investing in our graduate and professional programs.

GPSG will continue to fight for the affordability and accessibility of graduate and professional education at the UI and, maybe more importantly, will continue to fight for the recognition and value of graduate and professional students to the UI administration, the Board of Regents, and the Iowa Legislature.

 

Joshua Schoenfeld, GPSG President and New Jersey native             

Jasmine Mangrum, GPSG Vice President and Illinois native

Nicole Jardine, GPSG Secretary and Hawaii native